Graduate Student Development

In collaboration with UT’s academic departments and graduate student support organizations, the Graduate Student Development program (GSD), offered by the Faculty Innovation Center (FIC), provides opportunities to advance graduate students’ pedagogical, academic, and professional progress. The GSD Program is an initiative of the Office of the Provost, the Graduate School, and the FIC.

Graduate Student Highlights

In Spring 2016, the Graduate Student Development (GSD) team administered a survey to all graduate students at the University of Texas at Austin (UT). This report describes the experiences and perceptions of teaching training and preparation of graduate students at UT.  For the Appendices to this report, please visit this link




Also, check out our spring 2016 Graduate Teaching Showcase, where we partnered with UT Libraries to highlight the work of four graduate students from a wide range of disciplines who each told us a story about their teaching. View the presentations and learn more about the event.


The FIC provides online pedagogical support for all UT instructors in the following areas: effective lecture, discussion, assessing learning, assessing teaching, assessing your assessments, teaching with technology, drafting teaching statements and teaching portfolios, and classroom climate. Graduate student instructors sometimes deal with unique situations, so check out "Tips for Graduate Student Instructors" in the sidebar for each of those topics for tailored support.


GRS 097: Fundamentals for Teaching Assistants

In collaboration with the Graduate School, and the College of Liberal Arts (CoLA), the College of Natural Sciences (CNS), and Moody College of Communication (Moody). GSD offers a semester-long, zero-credit hour, professional development seminar aimed to support first-time Teaching Assistants (TAs) in their instructional duties. In this seminar, TAs will learn strategies for leading effective discussions/labs, be part of a community of TAs interested in brainstorming and troubleshooting with each other, and receive personalized support to become more confident and effective instructors.

Teaching Preparation Certificate for Non-Classroom Teaching Assistants

In collaboration with the Sanger Learning Center, we offer a series of active learning sessions each semester that are designed to help non-classroom TAs (TAs who act as graders and hold office hours but do not lead lab/discussion sections) develop skills specific to their teaching roles. These sessions address issues such as efficient grading and communication with students, and they provide opportunities to practice teaching and develop a teaching statement for the job market. A certificate of completion will be awarded upon participation in three of the four sessions. Learn More about this opportunity and register to attend.

Teaching Fundamentals for International Graduate Students Series

This series of three interactive, engaging workshops is tailored specifically to international graduate students who are interested in developing their teaching skills. The sessions cover a range of topics, including strategies for connecting with students, facilitating effective classroom discussions, asking good questions in the classroom, and motivating students. The series runs from February 16 - March 2, accepting applications now.

ITA/UTA Connect Program

This selective program pairs senior undergraduate teaching ambassadors (UTAs) with international graduate students (ITAs) in small groups in order for ITAs to gain insight into the experience of being an undergraduate student at UT. ITAs will meet with UTAs at least eight times throughout the spring semester to gain first-hand exposure to facets of undergraduate life such as undergraduate advising, residence hall life, and extracurricular activities. In addition, ITAs will receive feedback on a practice teaching from undergraduate teaching ambassadors and pedagogy experts. Learn more about the program and apply here.


GSD staff are available to facilitate practice opportunities for groups of graduate students who want to learn more about teaching topics such as learning theory, inclusive teaching, crafting teaching statements and teaching portfolios, and leading effective discussions. Email requests to


Graduate student instructors commonly find instructional coaching helpful during their teaching career at UT. GSD staff are available to support and coach you on all aspects of teaching such as syllabus and instructional activity design, drafting a teaching statement, effective classroom management, and motivating your students to learn. Our staff can also assist you with obtaining and interpreting feedback from your students, including designing mid-semester feedback surveys, planning formative and summative assessments, creating rubrics, analyzing exam questions, and interpreting mid-semester feedback and CIS results.

Email consulting requests to

What participants had to say:

"Thank you very much for your timely reply and the excellent feedback you have provided! I appreciate so much your encouragement as well as your constructive suggestions and feedback. I have encountered few people who are generous with both positive feedback and constructive suggestions for improvement -- it is an exceptional combination that leaves recipients feeling motivated to move forward in a clear direction with confidence. Thank you!"

"I can't thank you enough for taking the time to meet with me and for being so helpful. I also appreciate how comfortable and easy you made the whole experience. I was nervous going in and you immediately gave me the sense that you were going to help me and you did."

Academic Employment at UT Austin

Graduate students may be appointed as a Teaching Assistant, Assistant Instructor, Graduate Research Assistant, Academic Assistant, Assistant (Graduate) or Tutor (Graduate) for up to 14 long semesters while pursuing a graduate degree at The University of Texas at Austin.

Visit the graduate student employment website for more information.


If you have any questions please email: or call (512) 232-5181